Pretoria, 12 May 2014
Mr Basil Manuel, President of the National Professional Teachers' Organization of South Africa, said that NAPTOSA is appalled by the sexual abuse that our learners are subjected to and vehemently condemns the actions of errant educators.
NAPTOSA notes that while the "TIMES LIVE"article has highlighted the issues raised by the report on "Sexual Violence by Educators in South African Schools: Gaps in Accountability", as a union, NAPTOSA is obliged to distance itself from being labeled as ["almost militant" and "frustrating the disciplinary process" of deviant miscreants in the guise of educators], said Mr Manuel.
NAPTOSA's founding principles are guided, inter alia, by the fundamental human rights as enshrined in The Constitution, and hence NAPTOSA expects its educators to be held liable for any transgression, said Mr Manuel. NAPTOSA, WILL NOT, support any educator found guilty of any sexual offence, he added. NAPTOSA does however believe in the adage of "innocent until proven guilty".
Mr Manuel said that NAPTOSA concurs with the report that, "Sexual violence by educators is a disquieting reality that impedes a learner's personal autonomy and right to education". He added that the frustrations related to disciplinary problems cited in the report are indeed allowing 'sexual offenders' to get away with these heinous crimes. Added to this is the societal issue that sees perpetrators "paying families" in an attempt to avoid the judicial system, said Mr Manuel.
"It is said that having knowledge of a crime makes one equally guilty of said crime," said Mr Manuel. He added that the silence of other learners and educators in-the-know is indicative of the selfish and corrupt society we live in. "At a recent discipline conference I questioned the existence of 'Ubuntu' and 'the village that raises the Child' ". This was met with cynicism by some, but the reality is, as confirmed by the report, that these, 'profound principles' do not exist as widely in present day society as we would like to believe, said Mr Manuel.
NAPTOSA is aware that there is effective legislation at the disposal of the South African Council for Educators and the Department of Basic Education to deal with matters of "sexual offences" and is aware of instances where such educators were found guilty and dismissed, said Mr Manuel.
It is time that the Criminal Justice System allows for the list of "sexual offenders" to be made public, said Mr Manuel, so as to name and shame, but also to prevent these offenders from having access to our children, he concluded.
Enquiries: Mr B Manuel (079 508 6228) or Mr H Hendricks (082 577 9297)
Download here " pdf Sexual Violence by Educators in South African Schools: Gaps in Accountability (961 KB) "